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Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which areas around Heathrow breach the emission limits contained in the EU Air Quality Directive which are due to come into force in 2010. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Council Directive 2008/50/EC on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe consolidates existing EU legislation and must be transposed into national legislation by 10 June 2010.
Over the past 10 years the quality of our air has improved and, apart from some hotspots alongside busy roads in major cities, we are meeting our current objectives for all pollutants in 99 per cent. of the UK. Nitrogen dioxide remains the main pollutant of concern around Heathrow. Under existing and new EU legislation, the limit value for nitrogen dioxide comes into force in 2010.
Monitoring data show that in the Heathrow area there were exceedences of the annual limit value (40 microgrammes per metre cubed) in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The following table gives annual average measurements for the two national network sites in the Heathrow area:
|Annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentration (micrograms per metre cubed)|
The Harlington site is closer to the airport, but does not show exceedences of the limit value. The Hillingdon site is around 30 metres from the M4 motorway. The precise location of all of the monitoring sites in the national network can be found at:
The new directive provides in Article 22 for postponement of attainment deadlines for meeting the limit values for nitrogen dioxide for five years (until 2015). This reflects the challenges faced across EU member states in meeting the current deadlines. Current projections show that we are unlikely to meet the 2010 deadline in some parts of the UK. The UK is, therefore, likely to submit an application to secure additional time to meet the limit value.
Securing such postponement of attainment deadlines is subject to submission of detailed plans that will need to satisfy the Commission that the limit values can be achieved by the extended deadlines. We are determined to tackle remaining hotspots of pollution, and to meet our EU obligations.
Jane Kennedy: The voluntary DACTARI (dog and cat travel and risk information) system for reporting exotic diseases diagnosed in companion animals provides a formal surveillance system for monitoring the number of cases of Leishmaniasis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis and Dirofilariasis. Data on the incidence of these diseases are collected and my Department, in conjunction with the Animal Health Agency, is looking at how to best record and update this information on the DEFRA website.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions there have been for illegal actions relating to badgers in each of the last five years; how many of these were successful; and what advice he now offers police forces on this issue. 
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on water quality at English beaches and the Blue Flag scheme. 
Bill Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Bee Health Advisory Panel last met; what matters were discussed; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of the meeting. 
Jane Kennedy: The Bee Health Advisory Panel (BHAP) last met on 30 October 2007 to identify high level priorities and objectives for the Bee Health Strategy. The minutes of all BHAP meetings are published on the National Bee Units Beebase website at:
The future liaison arrangements between all stakeholders, including the BHAP, are addressed in the Bee Health Strategy, which will be published early in 2009 subject to completion of the NAOs study on the bee health programme.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding has been provided by his Department to support voluntary bee keeping groups in each region in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: No direct funding is made available specifically for beekeeping groups, but as part of the bee health programme undertaken by the National Bee Unit DEFRA provides a free advisory and inspection service, including training and education, for all beekeepers. The overall cost of the programme is £1.3 million per annum in England.
Bill Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he last made an assessment of the effectiveness of the operation of the Bee Diseases Control Order 1982. 
Jane Kennedy: The Bee Diseases Control Order 1982 was replaced by the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006. The operation of the order was reviewed at DEFRA's annual meeting with beekeeping associations which took place on 5 December 2006.
Since then, in conjunction with stakeholders, DEFRA has produced a draft bee health strategy which identifies a series of priorities for taking forward work under the bee health programme, and for implementing the controls under the current legislation.
Bill Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent guidance his Department has provided to (a) hobbyist and (b) commercial bee keepers on (i) management of healthy hives and (ii) detection and reporting of bee diseases. 
Jane Kennedy: The National Bee Unit (NBU) provides a free comprehensive training and education programme for all beekeepers to enable them to develop their skills and become more self-reliant in combating disease problems through improved bee husbandry. In 2008, beekeepers in England benefited from nearly 23,000 colony inspections and an extensive programme of training, including over 800 technical events to date, delivered by the NBU to help improve disease control through good apiary management.
Bill Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) hobbyist and (b) commercial bee keepers there are in each local authority area in England; and how many hives each type of bee-keeper has. 
Jane Kennedy: Details of beekeepers and their colonies are not recorded by local authority area. Details of those registered on the National Bee Units Beebase database are shown by county in the following table. As registration is voluntary, actual numbers are likely to be significantly higher. An Economic Evaluation of bee health carried out by ADAS Consulting Ltd in 2001, estimated that there were about 33,000 beekeepers and 230,000 colonies of bees in England of which less than 1 per cent. keep bees on a commercial basis.
|County||Number of beekeepers||Number of colonies|
|(1) Not known.|
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